UPDATED: Reliance will clean up West Island PCBs
The Pointe-Claire company at the heart of a days-long standoff with the Quebec environment ministry over the thousand litres of PCBs they've been illegally storing in their warehouse has decided to act.
The ministry confirmed in a statement Friday morning that Reliance Power Equipment will comply with its ultimatum and will remove the PCB-laden transformers from the site.
And, it seems, they'll pay for it as well.
"One way or another, we're going to pay for it," Reliance General Manager Ted Marshall told CJAD.
The company has received yet another extension from the Quebec government and has until September 3rd to hand in a plan outlining how they’ll remove the toxic material and transfer it to a safe storage place.
And, how they’ll clean up the contaminated soil.
“We’re surprised and skeptical, mayor of Pointe-Claire Bill McMurchie said after the announcement Friday. “We hope that the company will have sufficient financial resources to complete the operation but if there are any signs that they’re slowing down the process we expect the minister will promptly act to avoid any further delays.”
The Environment Minister confirmed in a statement that they would keep a close eye on the process and would take over if it was too slow.
Equipment for intrusion detection, fire detection and fire extinction is expected to be installed on the Reliance site this weekend and the company will have to pay to continue 24 hour security.
The removal of the transformers that contain PCBs and the cleanup of the contaminated soil could take months. The environment ministry estimates that the work could cost up to $2.5 million.
There is no word where the transformers could be transported yet.
Photo: Tina Tenneriello